AFFILIATIONS

THANKS TO

British Library
Institute of Historical Research
John Harvard Library
London Metropolitan Archives
Web: Val Dolotin

contact me

+44 7956 575 492
is@ianstone.london

+44 7956 575 492

ianstone4@hotmail.com

share me

Ian Stone, historian | hghff
17
blog,ajax_updown,page_not_loaded,,select-theme-ver-4.4.1,side_area_uncovered,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.4.7,vc_responsive,elementor-default
 

Ian Stone, historian

to my regularly updated blogs...

Andrew Ziminski, The Stone Mason: A History of Building Britain (John Murray, London; 2020)

It is undeniably the case that university-educated scholars have been responsible for the majority of written research into the buildings and architectural practices of the past. Consequently, when stone masons have been the subject of academic study, the focus has often been, primarily, on the masons’ intellectual role as designers of the medieval buildings which we see today. We should, of course, be grateful to historians...

David Carpenter, Henry III (Yale University Press, 2020)

For over thirty years, as part of its ‘English Monarchs Series’ exploring the history of the ‘longest permanent governing institution in Europe’, Yale University Press has published biographies of English kings and queens. These books are rightly considered to offer not only the best and fullest biographies of the men and women who have occupied the throne of England, but also a window through which...

Wren’s Masons: The Strongs and the Rebuilding of London after the Great Fire

As is well known, London was destroyed by fire in September 1666. By the time the conflagration had ended, some eighty-seven parish churches, along with St Paul's Cathedral, were no more. All the city's main public buildings, including the Royal Exchange and Guildhall, as well as forty-four livery companies' halls were smoking ruins. Over 13,000 private homes, too, had been razed to the ground. The...

Who was Henry II?

‘He is great, indeed the greatest of monarchs, for he has no superior of whom he stands in awe, nor subject who may resist him’. So wrote Arnulf, bishop of Lisieux, to Thomas Becket in March 1165. The object of Arnulf’s praise was King Henry II (1154-89). True, no one would count Arnulf among the greatest thinkers and theologians of his age, but he was...

Who was Thomas Becket?

In my last blog we saw how, on 19 January 1170, an exasperated Pope Alexander III had given King Henry II of England forty days to end the quarrel with Thomas Becket, his archbishop of Canterbury. The threat to Henry was real enough: failure to comply would lead to an interdict being imposed across Henry’s extensive continental lands. A month beforehand, Becket had threatened to lay...

King Henry II and Thomas Becket: the beginnings of a reconciliation?

On this day 850 years ago, Pope Alexander III (1159-81), by now weary and exasperated with both King Henry II of England (1154-89) and Thomas Becket, Henry’s archbishop of Canterbury, issued letters which set out terms for a ‘form of peace’ between the two men. Becket had been in exile since 2 November 1164 following his clashes with Henry over the rights and liberties of...

Finding the Traces of London’s Huguenots

Angers is a pretty, prosperous city in the province formerly known as Anjou in western France. Unlike Cologne, Antwerp or Amsterdam, it is not a city which one immediately connects with the history of London. True, for a brief period in the Middle Ages, three kings of England, Henry II, Richard I and John were also the counts of Anjou, but there is little evidence...

The Restoration of Canterbury Cathedral

‘While Thomas lives you will have neither peace nor quiet nor see good days’. We know not who supposedly uttered these words to King Henry II (1154-89) about his troublesome archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket (d. 1170), but whoever it was, they had arguably more perspicacity than the two protagonists themselves. Henry was one of England’s greatest monarchs. He was a man filled with seemingly...

The Mayor, the King, and the Conditions of Loyalty

‘Lord, as long as you are willing to be a good king and lord to us, we will be faithful and devoted to you.’ With these words, on 17 March 1265, Thomas fitz Thomas, a draper and mayor of London, told the king of England to his face that the Londoners’ loyalty to him as their king was conditional on his proving himself as a good...

Samuel Pepys and the Plague of 1665

At the end of each month, Samuel Pepys, the great diarist, was wont to take stock of his affairs. Anyone who has read Pepys’s diary cannot help but be struck by his invariable cheerfulness on these occasions. His entry for 30 April 1665, 354 years ago today, was typical of the man: ‘thus I end the month: in great content as to my estate and...